Crabbing Season Is Open For Pots You can Make Your Own Turtle Guard
March first is the beginning of blue claw crabbing season for using crab pots. Not that anyone ever tries since the water is still so cold, but you would be surprised what you can catch in the shallow back bay waters and creeks.
When the sun hits that mud and warms up the water you can find crabs. If there are minnows and what not in the water than you should be able to find some crabs. We tend to wait a few moltings before we even bother. The crabs emerging form the muddy bottom will be full of that mud. I prefer cleaner, fatter crabs. I alos prefer cleaned crabs, but that is an entirely different debatge.
You can handline for crabs year round. Crab pots are regulated from March 1st to November 30th. Make sure you have the proper turtle guards (by catch reduction device) in place. DNREC … “Terrapin (turtle) by-catch reduction device, a rigid metal or plastic frame with an opening measuring no larger than 1.75 inches by 4.75 inches that must be attached at the funnel entrance of all recreational crab pots to reduce the possibility of diamondback terrapins entering the pot and drowning. By-catch reduction devices are available at local tackle shops or may be handmade of heavy wire. ” There are instructions below how to make your own by-catch reduction device or turtle guard.
You can build you own reduction device or purchase them at many tackle shops. There are a lot of ghost crab traps around the inland bays. If you take it upon yourself to remove any of them be careful. You have to follow all regulations for crab pots. No one wants to get a ticket trying to help reduce ghost crab pots in the bays. It is illegal to check pots that do not belong to you, and that includes ghost crab pots. A law we are working on changing for the safety of boaters and the health of the inland bays. If you can’t legally remove ghost crab pots, you can not help keep the bays clean of debris.
Now we get to have that yearly debate, cleaned or or not cleaned crabs, what is your preference.